This blog is a personal view of how it feels to be the Vice-President, and then the President, of CIPA. These are my own words, not CIPA’s: tongue-in-cheek, often irreverent, sometimes satirical. They are written for people with a sense of humour, a broad mind and a generous and forgiving spirit. And talking of spirits, they contain quite a lot of references to gin, which I like drinking. If you think you might find this type of writing disturbing, please do not read any further.
Sunday, 22 February 2015
Holes in trains, monks' beards and partner machines - what a day!
26 January 2015, 11 am
I have coffee with the EyePeePee.He tells me another interesting story, about
making a hole in a train, which strikes me as a fundamentally bad idea and
indeed he did think better of it eventually and stop drilling the hole, although
only because it was the wrong shape and not because it was a hole per se.I am wondering if perhaps the EyePeePee has been helping out at South
West Trains recently, because that might explain a lot.
Then we discuss my evil plans for becoming a Ruthless
Dictator.I do not think he is
impressed.In fact, he looks distinctly
uncomfortable.At the point when he
drops his face into his cappuccino, and emerges frothy with despair, I realise
it is time to change the subject and tell him about my alternative plan, which
is to become a washing machine engineer.A ruthless washing machine engineer, obviously.
26 January 2015, 12.30 pm
The EyePeePee and I have lunch with Mr Lampert (who is
CIPA’s Chief Shouty Person) and Rosa Wilkinson (who is the IPO’s Chief Shouty
Person For Making Innocent Business People Understand About IP).While they are shouting at each other I eat a
shedful of really lovely food.The food
is of the type that comes in tiny portions, so you know it is such high quality
that you can’t afford a whole one.
One of the dishes I order, once I have worked out which way
up to read the menu, includes something called “monk’s beard”.We have to ask the waiter what this is.The waiter has to disappear for a while and
check Wikipedia.When he returns, he
tells us it is a “coastal vegetable”.To
you and me, that’s posh seaweed.It is
so posh, it is not even on Wikipedia yet, but it looks a bit like grass.This is a relief, in a way: I would rather it
looked like grass than like something a monk had left behind at the
barber’s.And actually it tastes
Rosa, who is from The North, is delighted to find Yorkshire
rhubarb on t’ pudding menu, and even more delighted to find that it comes with
white chocolate on the side.As we
congratulate one another on our choice of delectable things that are almost as
good as caramel custard tarts, we discuss how to reach out to business advisors
and bankers and other folk who have a passing interest in IP but nothing yet
which quite approaches Enthusiasm.Rosa
says she will make them Enthusiastic.And I’ve no doubt she will.
26 January 2015, 3 pm
On we go, the EyePeePee and I, to meet some more CIPA
members.This time our hosts are well
prepared.They have come up with some
difficult questions for us, so it is like being on Newsnight trying to explain
your way out of a public scandal.And
fair enough, really, to ask what we do for the £395 membership fee.Going round the country chatting to people
and eating their biscuits is possibly not enough.
Once we get talking about non-core skills training,
everybody looks happier.If I am understanding
correctly, they would like CIPA to build a machine that turns ordinary patent
attorneys into partners.You would go in
one end feeling all confident and happy about your job and you would emerge
knowing about cash flow and indemnity insurance and unfair dismissal and TUPE, feeling
permanently stressed and grumpy.And I
think: yes; I could build a machine like that.In fact, I could be the head tutor.